Di Natale still in frame for Euros
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says veteran striker Antonio Di Natale could still be part of his Euro 2012 squad despite overlooking the Udinese man in the run-up to the tournament.
Di Natale, 34, finished the 2011 Serie A season as top scorer with 28 goals and has scored a further 19 this season to help Udinese push for a European place ahead of Roma and Inter Milan.
Italy boss Prandelli has preferred to select younger players such as Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli, Giuseppe Rossi and Sebastian Giovinco, leaving Di Natale, who last played for Italy at the World Cup in 2010, out in the cold.
But with Euro 2012 just over two months away and question marks over the fitness of Cassano and Rossi, Prandelli seems ready to give Di Natale a chance to impress.
"I have been following him for a year,'' Prandelli told Gazzetta dello Sport. "He is a player that is showing extraordinary consistency.
"Hence, he deserves to be monitored. In fact I have him in great consideration. But we have to still wait to announce who will likely go to Euro 2012.''
Prandelli received good news this week after AC Milan forward Cassano, who with six goals was Italy's top scorer in Euro 2012 qualifying, was given the green light to return to action after five months on the sidelines following minor heart surgery.
Prandelli has previously stated his desire to have both Cassano and Villarreal striker Rossi, who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, in his squad for this summer's tournament.